Since we generally have little time to spend with each particular person, we must strive to make as much of our time as possible. We should project
a positive image of ourselves and our cause, engage in effective verbal communication, and demonstrate our knowledge of our subject. Here is our
guide of do’s and don’ts.
1. Familiarize yourself with the subject at hand. READ the information you are passing on to the public. NEVER pass out information that you
have not personally read. Be prepared to discuss many aspects of your topic including impacts on animals, humans and the environment. Be sure to
emphasize positive lifestyle changes.
2. Know your table arrangement and the range of your information. Be ready to answer questions and provide additional references.
Example: Pat Q. Public indicates concern about the environment.
Response: Quickly reach for your environmental fact sheet/brochure on the effects of animal agriculture. Highlight information relating to
Pat’s concerns such as the effect of manure from factory farms on our land and water. A one million hen factory farm produces 125 tons of wet manure a day! After you address Pat’s immediate concern, move quickly into
another aspect of your subject, such as debeaking.
3. Keep your table clean and well organized. Keep all food and drinks off your table. If you need to eat or drink while tabling, take a
break away from the table. If a visitor sets a food plate or coffee cup or other “stuff” on your table, kindly remove it and hand it
4. Dress for success and for your tabling environment. Look comfortable yet professional. Wear clean, neat vegan clothes. Look similar to
your visitors. Wear your message, but do not overdose on animal rights leisure-wear.
5. Be proactive. Smile and make eye contact when visitors pass by your table. Be friendly and ask them if they know about your cause or if
they would like some information about your cause. Always offer a brochure to a visitor who seems hesitant. People who would otherwise walk away
without taking anything will almost always take a brochure if you ask them nicely if they’d like one, and hand it to them.
Photo: Teresa Chagrin
1. Don’t compromise your cause. NEVER “apologize” for caring about an animal. Stay focused.
Example: When discussing the need for humane slaughter legislation for poultry, NEVER compromise the goal of the complete abolition of the flesh
trade. NEVER suggest that humane slaughter legislation is a solution to suffering or an extension of animals’ rights. Animals in our society
do not have rights. Don’t let the discussion give the public an opportunity to lessen their guilt about eating animals. You want them
to take your message to their dinner tables.
2. Don’t attempt to address unfamiliar issues. Simply indicate that you are unfamiliar with the issue. Urge Pat to contact your lead
organization, or volunteer to get in touch with Pat at a later date. BE SURE TO FOLLOW UP WITH ANY IOUs.
3. Don’t be an obstacle to the public. Never stand between a visitor and the exhibit table. Always maintain a positive and
professional attitude. Never insult your visitor. Keep a cool and collected tone at all times.
Example: Pat Q. Public says that chickens are stupid.
Response: Ask if Pat believes that intelligence should dictate how an individual is treated.
Inform Pat that, allowed to live as nature intended, chickens are very intelligent, sociable birds. Contrast the factory farms that house tens of
thousands of birds as a single unit with one bird enjoying her life in the sun and grass.
4. Don’t spend time arguing with people who seek to distract you from your cause. Determine when a discussion is getting out of hand
or going nowhere, and politely excuse yourself. Do not digress to disputes about abortion, politics and the like. The animals need 100 percent of
your time when you are tabling and leafleting for them.
5. Don’t spend time chatting with fellow activists and missing opportunities to reach out to passersby. NEVER look or act bored. Save
the gossip, gab, and dullness for after the event.
Be Friendly • Be Focused • Be Informed • Be Attentive
United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. For more
information, visit our website at www.upc-online.org or write to United Poultry Concerns, PO Box 150,
Machipongo, VA 23405 USA. 757 678-7875. Info@upc-online.org